Sense and Sensibility: Celebrating Jane Austen and the Romantic Idyll

Saturday 17 June 2017, 7.30pm

Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire OX10 7HH

  • Songs and airs from the Austen Family Music Books

  • Mozart: Rondo in D, K485

  • Pearsall: Lay a Garland

  • Moeran: Songs of Springtime

  • Chopin: Scherzo No.3 in C sharp minor

  • Elgar: From the Bavarian Highlands

Roger Owens, Piano

Sheila Forbes, Reader

Andrew Lumsden, Conductor

About this Event

The first half of this special concert marking the bicentenary of Jane Austen's death in 1817 will feature new arrangements of songs and glees from Austen's personal music collection, interspersed with readings from her work and keyboard music of the period.

The Waynflete Singers will perform seven items from the collection, which is now held at Southampton University, including a chorus from Purcell's King Arthur, an anthem written for the funeral service of Samuel Arnold, organist at Westminster Abbey and a glee about the exploits of Harald Sigurdsson (Harold the Valiant), the Norwegian King who was killed at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. The music will be complemented by readings from Jane Austen by Sheila Forbes.

The choir will also perform Elgar's Songs from the Bavarian Highlands and Ernest Moeran's Songs of Springtime, both continuing the 19th century tradition of part-song writing, with Moeran's settings building on the folk-song revival of the early 20th century.

Our favourite pianist, Roger Owens, will play Chopin's Scherzo in C sharp minor and Mozart's Rondo in D major - works which would have been played in the salons of Europe at the height of the Romantic era.

The Jane Austen music archive is extensive, consisting of keyboard pieces, solo songs and duets and part-songs and glees, all bound into several volumes. The collection has been carefully digitised by a team from the Music Department at Southampton University and is now available online.